The Queen Consort Camilla paid tribute to her late mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II, when she hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace on Thursday.
Camilla spoke to the winners of the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition and other guests during the gathering, pausing to pay tribute to her husband King Charles’ late mother, who died on September 8.
Camilla said, Us Weekly reported:
“I cannot begin without paying tribute to my dear mother-in-law, Her late Majesty, who is much in our thoughts today and who is so greatly missed by us all. Throughout her remarkable reign, its vision to improve the lives and prospects of all Commonwealth citizens remained, as you know, very close to her heart.”
“Over the past few months, my husband and I have drawn immense comfort from the messages of condolence that we have received, and continue to receive, from the four corners of the world. They have reminded us that the written word has a unique ability to connect, heal, reassure and offer hope, even in the midst of grief.”
The Queen Consort then praised the late monarch for her “enduring love for the Commonwealth,” praising the more than 50 countries that comprise “this wonderful, extraordinary, richly diverse association of independent and equal nations, and friends.”
Following her speech, Royal Commonwealth Society Ambassadors read excerpts from some of the winning pieces. Alexandra Burke, Ayesha Dharker, and Geri Horner, a former Spice Girl, are among those who have appeared in the film.
Gyles Brandreth, a friend of the Queen Consort, greeted Camilla with a kiss as he introduced her to the winners, according to People.
Camilla’s statement came two months after the Queen died “peacefully” at 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. On September 19, Her Majesty was laid to rest in a state funeral in London.
On the eve of the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession in February, the late monarch expressed her desire for Camilla to be known as queen consort when her son, Charles, takes the throne.
In a public statement at the time, the Queen stated:
“When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”
According to reports, the announcement was a “dream come true” for King Charles, who had always wanted his wife to be queen.
An anonymous source told Us Weekly:
“Charles is over the moon that his mother has given her seal of approval. It’s a dream come true.”
The insider continued:
“Camilla had to work twice as hard as any other royal to gain popularity and shed her reputation as the wicked stepmother — the woman who stole Charles from Diana.”